The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on July 7, 1999 · Page 1
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July 7, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 1

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Galveston, Texas
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Wednesday, July 7, 1999
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GALVESTON COUNTY * NATION: Cellular surprise: Charges often start before 'Hello.' Page A3 LY TEXAS: Judge says tapes might not violate federal wiretapping laws. Page AS JULY 7,1999 Vol. 157, No. 88 LIFESTYLE: Visit Las Vegas for the fortune and the food. Page Cl Most young baseball players are busy playing in local Little League all-star tournaments, but the Galveston County Gators are preparing for a trip to a national tournament later this month in Kansas. A Galveston woman was pinned against a front porch Tuesday morning tfafS*. w ' ien ^ er car a PP arerrt| y 9$$3l> jumped out of gear. EXTRA: Power company overdue BUFALO, N.Y.— Here!s a switch — the power company is accused of being overdue paying a customer. The city of Buffalo contends Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. owes it more than $1 million after billing the city for hundreds of street lights that did not exist, a utility consultant for the city said. The city paid the utility for the phantom street lights in the 1970s and 1980s because of a billing error, The Buffalo News reported Monday. The city calculated at the time that the city was overpaying by nearly $200,000 a year, city lighting supervisor James Zern said. A small portion of the overcharges were repaid, but the city never received a full accounting when they accepted a utility company settlement offer in 1988, records show. After poring over records, city officials said they will challenge the company for compensation. The power company disputes the city's over-billing contentions, saying the dispute was put to rest in 1988, Niagara spokesman Stephen Brady also said the city's complaints come too late because state regulators allow the company to use a six- year statute of limitations in cases of over-billings. The Associated Press © A story on Page Al of Monday's edition incorrectly listed the address of a Web site through which citizens can get information on new state windstorm building codes. The correct address is www.tdi.state.tx.us. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the Information we report, and It Is our policy to correct errors promptly. Readers may bring mistakes to our attention by telephone at (409) 683-5200 or (800) 561-3611 or by fax at (409) 7403421. ©1999 The Galveston County Daily News DPS receives conflicting reports about accident; child dies Condition update: ..• Jose Rodriguez, serious. 9 Maria Rodriguez, released. ® Jonathan, 2, good. 9 Janette, 11 months, died Tuesday. By ALEX BRANCH The Daily News LA MARQUE — Department of Public Safety officials are receiving conflicting reports about whether a state trooper activated his emergency sirens before crashing into a Dickinson family's car Sunday. The crash led to the death of an 11-month-old. "His emergency lights were definitely on," Trooper Steve Hargett said. "We know that for sure. They don't know for sure about the sirens." Investigators still are interviewing witnesses, who so far have told conflicting stories about whether they heard any sirens, he said. The accident occurred in the southbound lanes of Interstate 45, about a mile south of La Marque just before 10 p.m. Sunday. Trooper Floyd Goodwin, 28, was responding to a report of a major acci- dent when his car smashed into the back of Jose Rodriguez's car. Rodriguez, 27; his wife, Maria, 22; and their children, Jonathan, 2, and Janette, 11 months, all were taken to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital in Galveston. On Tuesday, Janette died from multiple injuries. Hargett said Goodwin, a four-year A state trooper was responding to a major accident when he hit a car on 1-45. See ACCiDENT/Page AID nAlifl<Tl7 llUJLLUay &*~ Alicia and Cedric Newman of Houston celebrate the Fourth of July by taking a romantic walk on the beach. It is estimated that 23,000 people visited StewartBeach/ over the holiday. (Photo by Nicole Fruge) Drowned teen found; brother still missing Business brisk for Fourth of July weekend Christine Hopkins estimated that 23,000 people visited Stewart Beach, the park operated by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees. By WES SWIFT Correspondent GALVESTON - The island's tourism business was brisk during the 1999 Fourth of July weekend, despite weather that was less than many hoped for. Island hotels and parks recorded crowds in the thousands for the four-day holiday, which began Friday and ended Monday. Christine Hopkins, public relations manager for the Galveston Island Visitors and Convention Bureau, estimated that 23,000 people visited Stewart Beach, the park operated by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees. The heaviest traffic came Sunday, when about 12,000 passed through the gates. The traffic could have been heavier, though. "If we didn't have the rain, we could have reached as much as 26,000 for the weekend," Hopkins said. Christa Buggey, president of the Galveston Hotel-Motel Association, is general manager of the Tremont House and the Harbor House in the historic Strand district. Both businesses were filled to capacity Saturday and Sunday, she said, and the same could be said for most other hotels on the island. "From what I've heard, most of the hotels were filled up," Buggey said. But the weather didn't cooperate with local businesses. Occasional rain showers peppered the island both Sunday and Monday, possibly scaring off some visitors. However, the weather didn't keep ft See TOURISM/Page A10 By ALEX BRANCH The Daily News TEXAS CITY - Searchers on Tuesday found the body of one of two Houston 15-year-olds who fell into an underwater hole near the Texas City Dike on Monday. Quines Simpson and Damean Bush last were seen fishing with their father, Amus Simpson, near an area known as Mosquito Island on Monday afternoon. The boys fell into the hole and didn't resurface, witnesses told police. Their father tried to save them, but he nearly drowned. Texas^Parks and Wildlife, w.ar- dens in a search boat found the body about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Texas City police would not identify which boy had been recovered because the parents have asked they not release any information. Both teens had been presumed drowned, according to Coast Guard officials. Parks and Wildlife Warden Bobby Kana said the boys apparently decided to take a break from fishing and take a swim. "It sounds like they just stepped right into a drop-off," Kana said. "There are a lot of holes and steep drop-offs around this area. It's pretty uneven." Witnesses said the father went out to search for the teens, but could barely stay above water himself. A group of fishermen formed a human chain and reached the father, but were unable to help the boys, who already were underwater. Searchers still were looking for the second youth Tuesday night. ES2E51 The boys fell into the hole and didn't resurface, witnesses told police. Their father tried to save them, but he nearly drowned. Mental illness might have played role in Holder murder Mark Thomas Dixon is accused of conspiring with Barbara Holder in the June 1997 murder of Holder's husband. By JEB PHILLIPS Correspondent GALVESTON — Jurors on Tuesday heard that a man charged with capital murder had endured a lifetime of physical abuse and mental illness that left him susceptible to manipulation by women. Tressie Moody testified that her brother, Mark Thomas Dixon, had been "recruited" by their mother at a young age to assist in burglarizing houses, and that he would do anything to please his mother. Moody said Dixon continued the trend in a long-term romantic re- "Mr. Dixon is the kind of individual who will do things to be liked and accepted," psychiatrist Mitch Young said. lationship, frequently stealing clothes and jewelry to satisfy his partner. Melody's statements came on the final day of testimony in Dixon's trial. Prosecutors accuse Dixon of conspiring with Barbara Holder in the June 1997 murder of Holder's husband, Curtis. Barbara Holder was convicted in March of capital murder for her role in the slaying. After Moody's testimony, which included descriptions of Dixon's drug abuse at an early age and a severe beating he suffered during a kidnapping, a Houston psychiatrist said that he believed the defendant easily would bend to others' wishes. "Mr. Dixon is the kind of individual who will do things to be liked and accepted," psychiatrist Mitch Young said. Young also testified that an interview with Dixon and an examination of his medical records showed a number of mental disorders, including paranoid schizophrenia and major depression with psychotic features. District Attorney Michael J. Guarino questioned Young's diagnoses, particularly the assertion that Dixon was "borderline retarded or mildly retarded." "He knew right from wrong when this crime was committed?" Guarino asked. "Probably so," Young answered. Lawyers will offer closing arguments in the case this morning. Weather Partly cloudy with a 40-percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High near 90. Lows near 80. GALVESTON BAY Variable winds 10 knots or less. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay waters smooth. Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Beach water 84 degrees. S«e Weather, Page A2. Pick of the Day Texas Lottery On the Web... "A Perfect (World," 7 p.m., »KHOU. A Texas Ranger hunts an escaped convict who takes a 7-year-old boy hostage in 1963. Pick 3: 4-S6 Cash 5 Texas: 8-26-27-2S33 Today's Lotto Texas drawing will be for a jackpot worth an estimated $17 million. Read The Daily News on the EWorld Wide Web at http://www .galvnews,cprri. Get the latest headlines and scores, or chat with your neighbors on the Internet! Index Classified Dl-8 Comics B9 Crossword B8 Movies B7 Obituaries A4 Opinion A7-S Sports Bl-7 Television BIO

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